For the second season in a row, the Columbus Blue Jackets will be sellers in the upcoming trade deadline. For the buyers in the room, they have until 3pm ET on Monday to improve their teams and ready themselves for a run at the Stanley Cup.
The Jackets won’t make as much noise as they did last season when they traded Nick Foligno and David Savard, but they do have a few trade pieces. Also available is a large amount of cap space. Don’t be surprised if Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen acts as a third party in a trade or takes on a bad contract to help a contender stay under the cap. The return would be more draft picks, of course.
Let’s take a look at where things stand for the Jackets and others around the league.
Domi is Columbus’ most valuable trade deadline piece. He is playing at a 50 point pace this season and has found a home as a winger for the Blue Jackets. There is a certain grit and sandpaper to his game, although he can be a defensive liability at times. For a team that needs more secondary scoring in their bottom six, Domi would be an intriguing piece.
Jarmo will almost certainly be asking for a first round pick in return for Domi’s services, especially if the interested team will be needing salary retention. If he can’t get a first round pick, expect a minimum return of multiple second round picks and possibly a prospect.
Trade probability: High
Potential teams: Boston, Washington, Toronto, Colorado
Trade rumors have surrounded Korpisalo for multiple seasons and there is even some uncertainty now as to whether or not he’ll actually be traded. The Finnish goaltender has struggled this season with a GAA of 4.04 and a SV% of .880. His success in the playoff bubble may be remembered by some in the league, but that may not be enough for a GM to pull the trigger.
I wouldn’t expect much if a trade is executed. A late round pick would be a win given how Korpisalo’s season has gone.
Trade probability: Medium
Potential teams: Vegas, Edmonton
Kukan is likely no more than a depth piece for a contender — a number seven or eight defenseman that can step in and play on the third pairing. Kukan does have some playoff experience. He’s 1-1-2 in 19 career playoff games — GMs love that stuff.
Another late round pick would be the ceiling for someone like Kukan. Don’t be surprised if a pick had a condition on number of games played to determine its final value.
Trade probability: Medium
Now to the less likely trade pieces. Carlsson will likely soon find himself on the outside looking in on the organizational depth chart. He’s been a serviceable number seven or eight defenseman this year, but chances at significant NHL time in Columbus in the future are dwindling.
Carlsson is an RFA this summer, so the potential for term within an organization is there. He’s still young for a defenseman and it’s possible other GMs see a little bit more growth room there. If Jarmo gets a phone call about Carlsson and a mid-round pick is on the table, he may very well consider it.
Trade probability: Low
Nyquist has played very well for the Jackets this season. His contract runs through next season, so moving him at the deadline is very unlikely. He also provides a lot of leadership and is an example of work ethic to the young guys in the locker room. That being said, Nyquist is likely not in the plans of the club beyond next season. So if a GM comes knocking and is will to pay, you have to listen.
Trade probability: Very Low
Around the League
Claude Giroux - Philadelphia
It’s hard to imagine Giroux playing for someone else other than the Flyers, but it may happen. The 34 year old center would give a big boost to a contender and could be a game changer in the playoffs. The cap maneuvering will be difficult for interested teams as Giroux’s cap hit is $8.275m.
Ben Chiarot - Montreal
Traded to Florida
Chiarot was traded on Wednesday to the Panthers for a 1st round pick, 4th round pick, and forward Tyler Smilanic. Color me baffled on this one. Florida GM Bill Zito gave up the farm for a player whose underlying stats are mostly terrible. GMs love big bodied defensemen.
Ben Chiarot, acquired by FLA, is a physical defenceman who was asked to do far to much in Montréal this season. Loves to battle along the boards and in front of the net, chases hits, and takes a lot of minor penalties. #TimetoHunt pic.twitter.com/bXjzSOjTnE— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 17, 2022
Marc-Andre Fleury - Chicago
Fleury’s stats haven’t been great this year, but it’s hard to imagine GMs not lining up for his services. The future hall of famer would be a great backup or even a #1 for the Edmontons of the world. His cap hit of $7m may make him hard to move, but someone may find a way.
Calle Jarnkrok - Seattle
Traded to Calgary
Jarnkrok was traded on Wednesday to the Calgary Flames for a 2nd round pick, a 3rd round pick, and a 7th round pick. The center has 26 points in 49 games this season and should help the Flames stabilize up the middle.
What do you think happens with the Blue Jackets? Will there be any surprises? Will this year’s trade deadline live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments.